Sorority Noise

Joy, Departed

Written by: LF on 20/10/2016 12:51:44

"Joy, Departed", the sophomore album by Connecticut emo band Sorority Noise, really came out in 2015 but since they're playing in Denmark this October, I've had some time to check it out properly recently. Fans of Prawn and Old Gray can rejoice as this band consists primarily of members from the two and is somewhat similar in style, at least some of the time.

"Blissth" opens up dramatically with guitars that build up a post-rock vibe but as soon as next track "Corrigan" kicks in with the strong line "All I wanna be is the house you call a home", it's already obvious that this is a record with good variation. It spans the melancholic and almost downplayed post-rock-like kind of emo as well as the more upbeat, slacker-like kind, making for a record with lots to offer for anyone with a soft spot for either of them. Most songs have catchy melodies, not least "Art School Wannabe" that beautifully combines the two styles and features a somewhat atypical but badass guitar solo - the only one on the album.

"Nolsey" is the song that most easily sticks to your brain with a very memorable guitar riff making up the chorus as well as some of the most depressed lyrics on the album like the flatly delivered verse lines of "Who are we to be really feeling anything / It's always been my dream to be empty". Other strongly resonating lyrics like "Mononokay"'s "I've gotten better at getting better / I've gotten better at being me" or the yelled chorus of "I stopped wishing I was dead / Learned to love myself before anyone else" in the distortion-filled "Using" are scattered throughout the songs and balances depression with hope, all mixed with a sarcastic attitude. "Using" is also one of the more memorable, energetic songs but it features the weirdest-sounding modulation towards the end, that still sounds off to me after a bunch of listens.

In the other end of the spectrum, we have the softer songs like "Fluorescent Black" that crescendos upwards soothingly and features a standout string section, that makes an appearance again on the dreamy ending song "When I See You (Timberwolf)" which both have a very different feel than the rest of the album because of it. "Your Soft Blood" also stands out with an almost passive aggressive style, reminiscent of Brand New, with some screeching guitars that must sound absolutely crushing live.

Overall then, this album is definitely worth a spin if you have been embarrassingly slow like me and have not already fallen for it. It has diversity as well as a good flow that, at least for me, culminates more or less in the middle of it. While I might come back to it for specific songs and not the entire album, there is still a lot of well-written songs to check out here and it's not going out of my rotation just yet.


Download: Nolsey, Your Soft Blood, Art School Wannabe
For The Fans Of: Prawn, Brand New, The World Is A Beautiful Place..., Modern Baseball

Release date 16.06.2015
Topshelf Records

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